August 23, 2011

Tiny Glass Jars

There is relief in knowing the ending. I almost always interrupt at the beginning of movies - "Wait, what happens? You know, at the end." Certain friends, they know to just tell me. It's easier to watch movies without my momentary meltdowns each time the plot changes.

It's a relief, sometimes, to know how things worked out. The wonder grows tiring. The questions grow heavy. To learn that I've been carrying this alone. Or to learn that no matter how hard I worked to paint lines black and white, I could never dispel the gray. Not from another's eyes. I'll release us, free us, even if I'm hated for it. Eventually defined by it.

The ending defines. But so does the release, the letting go.

He told me once, that he'd keep me in a tiny glass jar, tucked away with him, forever. I fought that. I wanted to burst; I was bursting; I'd never stay encased in glass. I didn't want forever. I wanted now. This moment without a thought for the next. I'd shatter the glass. I'd explode into the night air.

I understand now. I have rows of tiny glass jars lined up on shelves. Filled with people and moments.

Perhaps someday I'll learn to pay attention to the beginning, to sort through the middle. First impressions shouldn't slip down the garbage disposal at 1am on a Wednesday night while waiting for the coffee to brew. The first time, the second time, the third time breakdowns lead to silence, stop waiting for the recovery. Moonlit confessions cycle. Even on the darkest nights, the moon is still there.

Years later, I'll sit across the coffee table from a now-stranger and wonder which one of us refuses to make eye contact. I'll see the first dance as a wall-photo snapped and posted from someone else's cell phone. I'll roll over to a 3am phone call and divide myself over not answering. Again and again and again. Until I'm whole.

I bottle the years before. Us, frozen in time. The moments we gave each other the best of ourselves. Honest, true, ragged, and brilliant.  I hold on to those, while I let everything else go.

Gutted and hollow. With widen open space for new growth. All of us.

The end makes it all ache but instantaneously lighter.


  1. itwalkedonmypillowAugust 23, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    you're a beautiful writer. 

  2. Emily, as always I love your writing.  You always manage to get what you're thinking across to your readers in such a beautiful way.
    Thank you for sharing it!
    <3 Kiersten

  3. Thanks so much, Kiersten. I love that you take the time to read and comment regularly - it is always lovely to know that you're connecting with what I write. xo

  4. thank you!